The next stop was Kokrebellur Pelicanry. It is located in Kokrebellur, a village in Maddur taluk of Mandya district of Karnataka, India. The
village and the sanctuary, around 83 km from Bangalore, derive their names from the painted stork called kokkare in Kannada.
Technically speaking, this delightful place is not really a sanctuary since the painted storks and the spot billed pelicans live freely in the village trees but they certainly are covered under various conservation acts and agencies. Mysore Amateur Naturalists, Karnataka Forest Department, Village Forest Committee and other such organisations have voluntarily joined hands to preserve the avian life here.
In a truly heart-warming tale, the villagers have adopted these birds since they believe the birds bring good luck and prosperity. They benefit
from the phosphorus and potassium-rich droppings of these birds, locally known as guano, which serve as excellent organic fertiliser for this agrarian economy. Sugarcane is Kokrebellur’s chief
The village is situated on the bank of the river Simsha and one of the chief delights of visiting this place is watching the birds flock to this spot and create a wonderful din. I spent hours by the cool water, just listening to the birds, taking photographs and avoiding droppings! Talking to some of the residents, I discovered that the best time to visit the Pelicanry is December and January when they nest here. If you were to travel about eight kilometres further from this place, you would arrive at Iglur Dam.
However, I would recommend the place only to bird enthusiasts. The village is a tiny world unto itself and while there has been growing tourist interest as of late, there are no tourist facilities like washrooms, cafes or souvenir shops here. For the amateur bird watcher or even the ornithologist, though, this is one of the best places to visit in India because it is one of the 21 breeding sites of rare birds in the country. So do remember to get your DSLRs and sketchbooks along to record truly unrivalled sights!